As I sit on the terrace of this lovely house in the hills of Panchgani and look out to the steep road in front of me, I cannot help wondering at the contrast I see and hear – the majestic trees that look like still life paintings co-existing peacefully with the lively symphony of sounds from the unseen birds. Thankfully, the sun is out and the breeze has stayed away, else the wind would have drowned the sounds of the sweet singing birds.
The trees stand tall and proud, green leaves swaying very slightly as if whispering so as not to disturb the birds in their singing. I look up to see the tops of the trees, having to crane my neck. I think to myself, these trees have been witness to many a monsoon, have soaked in the warmth of the sun over the years, and have shed leaves many times over. In a sense, they have been the sentinels of the hills. Yet, they have been mute witness to the rampant construction on these hills. Interesting irony that – man destructs Nature, yet he calls it “construction”! The trees have also been mute witness to the rampant use of chemicals that are eventually toxic to the soil on which they thrive. Why do they not complain, I agonize!
I stop thinking for a while and start listening to the birds. How sweetly they sing! As I close my eyes and soak in the beauty of their voices, it suddenly dawns on me that they may not actually be singing – they may be complaining at the top of their voices. Sweet complaints! May be the birds have always been complaining, and the trees have silently ignored those complaints!
My mind goes back to thinking again. Could it be that our Nation has reached the current state of lack of good governance simply because a small minority have been complaining sweetly over time, and the vast majority, including some towering personalities, have been mute witnesses?
Could it be that we just got lucky when Gandhiji showed up and brought all the small complaining voices together to make them loud enough to be heard?
Is that what these trees need – a Gandhi tree – to bring together all the sweet voices and present it forcefully to Man so he can listen?
Is anyone listening?